Jacobs teen injured at ski facility recovering

A 17-year-old Jacobs High School student who was injured Sunday afternoon when his arm became tangled in machinery that operates a ski lift at the Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park near Algonquin is recovering at the hospital, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for Lutheran General said hospital officials will not confirm the condition of the teen upon the request of the family.

“Any time I hear of a situation that is involving our students, it's extremely important that we do the right thing on our end and contact the family,” Community Unit District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy said Monday afternoon.

Bregy said the school's counselors have reached out to the family to offer support.

“I'm anxiously awaiting a report to see how he's doing,” he added.

The teen, who was an employee at the facility located on forest preserve property in unincorporated Kane County, got his arm trapped in the roller mechanism of the conveyor lift.

“The machinery had to be cut apart to free his arm,” said Peter Van-Dorpe, assistant chief with the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District.

If there had been enough pressure, the teen's arm might have been severed, Van-Dorpe added.

The teen was conscious when paramedics with the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District responded to the park at 19N475 Route 31 at 1:46 p.m. after a co-worker discovered him entrapped in the conveyor lift, officials said.

John Greene, the fire department battalion chief, said more than 30 rescuers worked for about an hour to remove the young man who was then airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Michael Gilloffo, the Kane County Forest Preserve Police chief, said the injury was serious, and it occurred when the employee was working on the gear lift.

Kane County Forest Preserve police are no longer investigating the incident because it was deemed an accident and is deferring all inquiries to the Raging Buffalo owners, police spokeswoman Laurie Metanchuk said.

Raging Buffalo owners could not be reached for comment Monday. According to the Raging Buffalo Facebook page, the park was to remain closed all day Monday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident, spokeswoman Rhonda Burke said.

“Machine guarding and lockout/tag out violations (preventing equipment from being operable during maintenance) are among the top 10 violations cited by OSHA,” Burke said. “These would just be items the inspector would look at, since it is alleged that he was 'caught in the machine.' OSHA would want to ensure there was proper machine guarding, training, and operating procedures to prevent such an incident.”

The agency has up to six months to complete the investigation, she added.

• Daily Herald staff writer Lenore T. Adkins contributed to this story.

17-year-old trapped in machinery at Algonquin snowboarding park

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